Not Too Urban, Not Too Rural (Dumaguete, Philippines)

What makes a destination worth going to? As a traveler, there are just too many destinations on my list but as budget and time dictate it, I can only choose a few, at least then.

In my case, these are what I look for:

Food & coffee, people, sights, and activities

because these make up a place’s culture.

Dumaguete, one of the provinces in the Visayan islands of the Philippines, pretty much ticked off all the boxes on my list. What’s more, it’s also a jump-off point to many neighbouring destinations. That’s why after this trip, I was able to make a quick stopover to Siquijor (Blog post about that trip here: ).

So here’s my Dumaguete trip last September 2014  summarised into the reasons why I choose a certain destination:

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I’ve read and heard about how good the food is in Dumaguete.

First up: Seafood.

With those I met during the trip, I was able to try fresh seafood at unbelievable prices. I enjoyed the food too much I wasn’t to take photos except for this:


10pcs of baked oysters for only Php150 (3 USD)!

Next, I also went to the wet market to try some local delicacies.

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And of course, I went cafe hopping.

(Not in photo: the famous silvanas)

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I’ve mentioned this so many times already. I enjoy talking to locals. It’s part of getting to know a place’s culture and it makes the experience all the more unforgettable.

The first friend that I made on the trip was this tricycle driver who drove me from the airport to the apartment I was staying at.

What made him unforgettable? He spoke to me in english the whole time because he thought I was a foreigner! Hahaha.



Another friend I made was this security guard from Siliman University who was nice enough to help the lone tourist that I was to take some photos of myself. Haha!


And for my favourite, this lola (grandma) who sat beside me while I was trying the local delicacies at the market. We had a good 30-minute chat about her granddaughter who is studying in Manila. I was touched when she said she liked me because I remind her of me. Awww.




It was the most random thing but I decided to go diving!

I asked around and they referred Yui, a Japanese professional diver who now resides in Dumaguete.


He took me to Dauin for my first ever diving experience.

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It sucks that I didn’t have a GoPro then. So I had no underwater photos.

Thanks again Yui for the patience! Haha.


For those who want to get a diving license in Dumaguete or Cebu, send me a message and I can connect you to Yui. Nice and patient fella. He’ll also take you around Dumaguete for some drinks! Hahaha.


Just as what I’d usually do when I go to an unfamiliar place, I’d walk around and see what’s there to see and hope I won’t get lost. Haha!

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Dumaguete is a simple town. Not too urban and not too rural. I guess that’s what makes it special.


So yes, I love Dumaguete. 🙂

Dumaguete, Philippines | September 2014



Samantha View All →

Writer | Solo Traveler

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